The Birth of Laughing Yoga
Laughing Yoga, more commonly known as Laughter Yoga, is an exercise programme for health and well-being. Laughing Yoga was invented in 1995 by Dr Madan Kataria and it combines yoga breathing techniques with laughter exercises. Laughter is a powerful form of complementary medicine as it draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical/emotional changes in the body. Laughter is a great mood booster and can improve your quality of life in almost immeasurable ways.
Why is Laugher Important?
Laughter has the power to change your mood in minutes as it releases chemicals in your brain called endorphins. Laughter Yoga also helps people develop a sense of humour about life itself; those who practice Laughter Yoga tend to laugh more outside the class as well as open up new aspects of their personality. Laughter Yoga allows people to laugh for about 15-20 minutes continuously, with short breaks of yogic breathing. The premise of Laughter Yoga is that voluntary laughter can provide the same health benefits as spontaneous laughter. Laughs usually start from the diaphragm and deep belly laughs are recognised as being the most beneficial.
How Does Laughing Yoga Work?
Classes usually start with some kind of talk about the health and social benefits of laughter. After this, there will be some stretching/breathing exercises that will help open you up and relax your muscles. Once this has been done, the laughter games will start, these games often include clapping and chanting. Laughter games tend to involve some kind of social interaction; participants may be asked to go around the room, greeting each person with a laugh. They are encouraged to maintain eye contact and not to worry about how their laughter may be coming off. The end of Laughter Yoga usually involves silent meditation that will help you relax.
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